Thursday, March 29, 2012

7 Clues That Tell You an Internet Trainer is Really Not Training Anyone

I appreciate the comments and emails I always receive from people calling me "real". Actually, I've been told that my whole life. Never one to sugar-coat or speak with a facade; I take pride in being upfront, honest, and friendly with others. I have nothing to hide and find life to be easier when there are less tracks to cover. Call it adulthood or simply having more responsibilities (I guess they go hand in hand), but I take pride in being realistic about my life, my career, and my faults.

I thought about why I am complimented with "being real" lately. And I concluded that there seems to be an influx of "fake" or "imitating" fitness professionals floating around in cyber-space and in neighborhoods across the world. Trust me, I don't want to hold the torch for personal trainers everywhere; but I can ONLY relate to those that do what I do on a daily basis...I mean REALLY do what I do. And there are alot of you out there. But then, on the other side the fence, we have some that "kinda" do what we do...or "pretend" to do what we do--on a daily basis. So once again, my bullshit meter started beeping and I created a list of well-known clues.

Clue #1: They are always on Facebook or Twitter. I love social media; but I tweet or post on Facebook when I can--which is not as regularly as I'd like. But me and most trainers are clients! Social media is a great way to attract business and give people a "taste" of what your training entails; but when you see "so-called trainers" posting every hour--on the hour--makes you scratch your head and wonder if they are busy doing what they advertise? You gotta love how Facebook actually lists the time after each comment to encourage "real time" conversation. When you get rapid fire comments from an internet trainer, I hope they simply had a cancelled session. But when it is makes me wonder.

Clue #2: They always seem to quote research, and not enough client experiences. I love research, I really do. But when you are training clients in your gym, studio or are not in an university lab! Trainers don't have time to hook clients up to EKG units or electro-graph monitors to differentiate muscle fiber recruitment during a fart or a dumbbell snatch. Hell no...we are too busy trying to influence positive changes in their behaviors and reinforce adherence. We are busy making clients smile and feel good--while getting them stronger. Leave the research and science to the guys in white coats in labs. The front line will meet them back at headquarters when the fight on obesity ends!

Clue #3: They don't know the big names of the fitness industry. Listen, you don't have to know the astronomical signs of many of the fitness industry heavyweights, but you should know who some of them are and what niches they cater to. For instance, if you don't know who Coach Mike Boyle is or JC Santana, that is a tell-tale sign to me that you don't read up alot. And furthermore, if you don't read up alot, that may mean that you don't try to learn new things to apply to your business. On the flip-side, it may mean that you are too busy to read...but shame on you if you are not finding ways to learn more in this ever-evolving field. Checking out this blog is a great way to catch up on many of those big names!

Clue #4: Where are the clients? I love watching videos or seeing pictures of real clients getting after it. The many pictures and videos of real people being coached, having fun, and working hard are the best advertisements and the best way to open the world up to your reputation and true self. I love watching videos from my favorite strength coaches working with clients or bootcamp groups like Rob King and Tyler English:

Want to know what this does to a reader like me? It confirms to me that they "practice what they preach". I know these guys are for real and it also validates that when they write up something about training, business, or group stuff--I know that they know what they are talking about. If your trainer talks about training others, but you never see "proof" of it, that may be a clue that they are simply sharing "experiences they hear about" and making them their own. Yikes!

Clue #5: They hang out in fitness forums too much. Years ago, I used to contribute to some popular fitness forums. In between client sessions, I would write up something and come back later to see 20 replies. I would say "Holy do these guys respond so fast??" I figured out that A.) I was arguing with young dorks that did curls in the squat rack, and B.) didn't train clients in order to put food on the table. I realized that I was getting into debates with people who loved to train...but didn't train others for a living. Those are different life experiences in my book. I realized the debates were nothing but arguments over apples and oranges. The day I quit posting on fitness forums was the day I stopped stressing over people not understanding what it is I truly do. That is the day I truly realized I own my profession.

Clue #6: They write alot of articles. This is an "iffy" clue, because it boils down to time-management and writing ability. There are some fitness professionals that are great at writing, time-management and training clients. Eric Cressey for instance, is one. Tony Gentilcore is another. When I write an article or a blog post, I have to sit down and really rack my brain to get the creative juices going. Its not easy and I am not implying that it may be easy for others. But I need time. I need to recollect and minimize any distractions and put my thoughts to paper. That is hard to do when you are designing 7 exercise programs, reading great blogs from others, paying bills, playing with your kids, taking the dog for a walk, mopping the studio floors, ordering new equipment, overpaying for gas, mulching the garden, cleaning the gutters, returning emails, and fixing dinner. See where I am getting at? You have to have some pretty damn good time management skills, OR not have to deal with most of the things I mentioned. I don't know of many people that simply write for a living. But I do know some trainers that don't train and write about it for a living. Where do you they get their information from? Got me.

Clue #7: They got no muscle. Let me be honest with you. If I called a plumber, I'd expect a guy to come to my house with a plunger.

If I took my car to a auto-mechanic, I expect to see some grease on his clothes. If I visited an accountant, I would expect to see a calculator on their desk. Do you see where I am going with this? If I see a trainer, I expect  to see some muscle!!! Muscle is visible proof that you actually train and have "under the bar" experience. You don't have to look like Arnold, but you should show a degree of muscularity that defines the years and hours spent in the gym. Again, this only applies to the internet trainer that is too busy marketing him/herself as a trainer and not really doing it in real life. 

1 comment:

  1. Great article! I always thought that a trainer is only as good as the leaders he follow. Out of the 10 books you posted, I have 9! Plus I'm following you on twitter! How's that for being in the know? Cheers!


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